Minnesota Twins: Jose Berrios named Opening Day starter
By Otto Johnson
For the second year in a row, Jose Berrios will get the nod as the Opening day starter for the Minnesota Twins.
Opening Day is the start of the season in the Major League Baseball, and the starting pitcher for each team is usually the top pitcher from the year before. The Minnesota Twins’ recent history consists of forgettable starting pitchers such as Vance Worley, Carl Pavano, and Ricky Nolasco.
Over the past fifteen years, only three pitchers have opened the season for the Twins multiple times: Pavano, Ervin Santana, and Johan Santana. All three only pitched in two openers, but Jose Berrios will join that group when the team begins the season later in March.
Rocco Baldelli announced the decision before Jose Berrios’ spring training start on Wednesday:
It doesn’t come as surprise that Berrios will get the nod to open the season for the team, as he led the team in innings, strikeouts, and came in second in wins. He has the most talent on the staff, and if he can successfully use that talent again, he can make his second consecutive all-star game.
Berrios also had a very successful opening day last season, shutting out the Cleveland Indians over 7 and 2/3 innings last year. The game started the season off right for the Twins, a season that saw the team run away with the division by the end of the year.
Berrios struggled as the season drew to a close, but has been strong in Spring Training and has added extra speed on his fastball (it’s sitting at 96 MPH, it was at 94 MPH last year) and a 12-6 curveball. He looks locked in and ready to go for 2020.